A partner in the troubled real estate firm of Holland & Lyons Associates, Bruce Lyons, owes the National Bank of Washington $3.6 million and has left the bank's board of directors as a result.
Lyons' debts are only part of $13.5 million in debts owed to NBW by members of last year's board of directors, a total that represents nearly one-fourth of NBW's stockholders equity.
The disclosure of the Lyons debts comes from the NBW proxy statement released yesterday in conjunction with the bank's annual stockholders meeting.
NBW President and Chief Executive Officer Dale Jernberg told stockholders that the bank's relationship with Lyons and other borrowers is confidential and would not elaborate on the Lyon's situation.
Lyons, in a brief telephone interview, called the figures "misleading" and said that his operation has "a few problems" and "we're trying to work them out."
But NBW, in assessing the loans to Lyons, said that the fact of six of the seven loans listed in the proxy statement could not be determined. "Due to the uncertain value of the collateral, management cannot properly assess the possibility of loss," the NBW statement said.
On the remaining loan, totaling $1.38 million, the bank said "it does not forsee any loss, believing the loan to be adequately secured." All of the NBW loans to Lyons were made at the floating prime interest rate, plus 2 percent or 3 percent.
All seven of the loans are delinquent and the loan that the bank said was secured adequately has been delinquent since Jan. 4, 1980; NBW's stake in that particular loan rose from the original figure of $977,275 to $1.38 million.
The $1.38 million loan, which involves real estate valued in 1979 at $14.1 million, deals with the Papermill project in Georgetown, according to real estate sources. The Papermill is the massive $20 million redevelopment project in Georgetown that is the core of Holland & Lyon's hope to revive its struggling business.
The 10-year-old real estate firm, which was thought to be a model operation benefitting from the District's in-town boom, is selling off pieces of its extensive assets in the area, part of a companywide cutback designed to curtail its financial difficulties. The company said it grossed $30 million in 1978.
Lyons recently, resigned from the NBW board, a decision that he called "mutual." He joined the board of NBW last summer, and since then, four of the seven loans made to Lyons or affiliated firms were secured before he was selected for the bank's management.
In addtion to the loans to Lyons, NBW also has outstanding loans totaling $4.3 million to another director John W. Lyon, his wife and companies affiliated with Lyon.
Lyon is president of Excavation Construction Inc., which has filed for reorganization under federal bankruptcy law. NBW management said that only one loan, toatling $217,000, was secured adequately and said it could not assess the loss possibility.
NBW also disclosed in its proxy statement that another director, Marvin Goldman, owner of K-B Theaters, had borrowed $1.19 million from the bank in 1978. That loan was "restructured" in June 1979, and the bank said the loan was "adequately secured."
NBW reported 1979 profits of $6.87 million, up from $5.97 million in 1978 and has been growing steadily in total deposits, which were reported at $745 million.
In remarks to stockholders, Jernberg said the national economic situation "is in a state of rapid change." Jernberg said these difficulties "will require a special understanding among those establishing bank policies and our customers."
Jernberg said it was too soon to assess the impact of the Carter administration's anti-inflation plan on the bank, but said that he already had been prediciting "minimal loan growth" before the Carter plan was announced.
Jernberg also called on the federal government, despite the Carter pledge to cut the budget "to acknowledge federal responsiblity for past mistakes in the District of Columbia and help out" in the city's current budget plight.
He was critical of proposals to raise the city's taxes. "Why should the District and its citizens (business and personal) be compelled to assume the burden of increased tax rates to correct problems which came about many year ago?" Jernberg said.
Jernberg warned that the city will lose even more business if the tax rate in the District becomes excessive and urged the Barry administration to continue to trim city government costs "where necessary."